DON’T WASTE YOUR PAINS                             Jeremiah 51:58-64

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nought, and the nations weary themselves only for fire.” (v58)

Remember, unless pain is working to some end it breaks us by its meaninglessness. James Moffatt translates today’s text in this way: “Pagans waste their pains.” The point the prophet Jeremiah is making in this verse is that those who live without a God-reference – the “pagans” – don’t know what to do with their pains and thus waste them. Their pain ends in mere dull, fruitless and meaningless suffering. It gets them nowhere. One of the biggest problems psychologists have to deal with is the problem of meaninglessness. Christians have the advantage – God gives meaning to everything.

So much of the world’s pain is being wasted, as politicians and other leaders try to deal with issues on their own, and do not bow to the wisdom of God that is to be found in Scripture or ask for His help in prayer. They apply their worldly remedies that are frequently opposed to the principles of Scripture, and find after a while that they are back where they started and compelled to go through the whole miserable business all over again.

We can learn to make our pains productive by bringing them to God and asking for His help in making them redemptive. Only when we see redemption in pain can we have any release from it. Purposeless pain is paralyzing. “Pain can be taken up into the purposes of God.” Said Dr E. Stanley Jones and transformed into finer character greater tenderness and more general usefulness. As in child birth, so pain, when used by God, can bring forth new life.

PRAYER LINE: My Father and my God, help me not to waste my pains but to always turn them over to You for You to do what You so wonderfully do- to turn the worst into the best. Amen (EDWJ)

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Dark fears flee in the light of God’s presence

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